Apocryphote of the Day: 5-14-08

Not only will they be unable to detain the Perfect Man, but they will not be able to see him, for if they see him they will detain him. There is no other way for a person to acquire this quality except by putting on the perfect light and becoming perfect light. Whoever puts on light will enter [the place of rest]. This is perfect [light, and] we [must] become [the Perfect Man] before we leave [the world].

Gospel of Philip 76.23-30 (Valentinian text from late second century)

Commentary: the reference to the "Perfect Man" is technical jargon that doesn't fit into our modern gender inclusive categories. It is a reference to the Genesis story in chapter 1 where God created the first man, male and female. To conform ourselves to this original creation was the goal. The Valentinians called this primordial human, the Perfect Man, and they thought that the Aeon Jesus who descended through the cosmic spheres to earth, was this Perfect Man. His body was a body of light, an idea they picked up from the first couple of verses of Genesis. When God said "Let there be light." The word for light in Greek translation (which they were reading) means both light and man (although the accent is different). Because of this special invisible body, the Archons could not detain him when he descended or ascended. The Valentinians reasoned that we need resurrected bodies like his. So the thought was that this could be achieved through the sacraments, including here a reference to anointing ("light" is associated with anointing), the eucharist (when they ate his body and it worked internally to change them - think, you are what you eat), and marriage (when Eve reenters Adam).